The Revd Michael Andrew Smith: 1949-2021
Baptist minister and chaplain, Mike was a quiet man, a person of deep knowledge, a good listener, a keen walker, had an excellent sense of humour and a great love for his family
Mike was born in Bolton on 9 February, 1949, the son of James and Joyce, and had two younger siblings, twins, David and Judith. He and his family always attended Zion Baptist Church where he was baptised when he was 19.
Mike went to school in Bolton and then attended Sheffield University to study History. After working in a library for three years, reflecting his love for books, he felt called to the ministry and took a second degree at Manchester University as part of his ministerial training.
He was ordained in the summer of 1977 just before he married Jenny and they subsequently had three sons, Matthew, Aaron and Joel.
Mike spent his working life as a minister in East Park Baptist Church, Hull, Fordhouses Baptist Church, Wolverhampton, as a member of The Ecumenical Church ministry in Skelmersdale, and at Trinity Baptist/URC Church in North Finchley. Throughout his time in these churches he always strived to work ecumenically and showed love and care for those in need, whatever their faith. He was instrumental in setting up an ecumenical night shelter for the homeless in Finchley. He took on the role of a chaplain in industry, hospitals and a hospice in a variety of places - roles he enjoyed as it offered him the opportunity to talk to employees in their workplace and patients in their time of difficulty and struggles.
A football fan, he has always been a supporter of Bolton Wanderers through thick and thin and was delighted when his team were promoted to League One this last year.
Throughout his late teens he developed a passion for chess and subsequently has played for Lancashire, the Clergy Chess Club (often by post before emails became common) and, latterly, Hoylake Chess club.
He was a quiet man, a person of deep knowledge, a good listener, a keen walker, had an excellent sense of humour and a great love for his family. He will be sorely missed by his wife, sons and grandchildren.
Mike died peacefully on 11 June, 2021 in the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Liverpool, after a four-year fight with prostrate cancer.